I just want to start by saying I love this game and I love Harry Potter. So win, win.
I normally play with my partner and first play through, we played one character each and managed to beat the game with out losing any year. We did notice spikes in years, where some were clearly harder than others.
We then decided to play through the full game again, but this time with 4 characters - 2 each. This was a lot tougher and some of the years took us several tries to beat. But again it was the same years that we struggled with, the others we beat fairly easily.
We then had some friends come round to play over the weekend and we always play several different games that we each have, usually new ones to one pair or the other. I decided to offer Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle as one of the games. And so I got my first true 4 player game. We played game 5, because we already knew the game and our friends are decent gamers and have played deck builders before.
It started off normal - slow build up of cards, losing first location after a handful of turns and struggling to defeat the villains.
At midpoint though, we had built up half-decent decks and could pull off some good turns. Ron in particular was able to pull off some high-damage attacks and this helped clear the villains on a couple of occasions.
Then we got to the crux of the game. We were on our final location with only one location marker free. We had Barty Crouch Jr out, so we couldn’t remove any of the markers and he still had 4 life left. It was Neville’s turn and he was not built for high damage. We turned over the Dark Arts cards and were instructed to add another marker - if we couldn’t defeat Barty it was game over. Neville looked through her cards and declared she couldn’t beat him. We were gutted. Just as it seemed we were getting somewhere, we had just lost.
We decided to play the turn out anyway and Neville was able to add 2 damage to Barty but nothing else...
... then she looked again and noticed a card hiding behind her back card - it was a 2 Damage spell! We all shouted and cheered and physically punched the air. Neville had saved the day at the last minute!
We now had a chance. With Barty gone, we could reduce the markers and give ourselves a little breathing room.
Then Wormtail came out and added lots more markers to the location. He put a thorn in our sides, but we defeated him and Voldemort was revealed.
The end was in site.
We managed to clear out the last three villains to leave Voldemort vulnerable, but with only 1 or 2 location markers left.
It all ended on Harry’s Turn, the final location marker was added to the location and Harry needed to defeat Voldemort or we would lose. Unfortunately, Harry could only manage to reduce him to 3 health and so with a heavy heart we lost.
But we decided to carry on, just to see how long it would have taken us to beat him. It turned out to be not long at all.
Next it was Hermione, and she was able to easily finish off Voldemort! Gutted. If only Harry had one of his location marker removal cards in hand!
Because of Neville’s brilliant come-back, we all ended up loving the game and were happy with the out come, even though we lost.
So close ... so close!
Nice recap. I'm playing this solo, trying out different combos of 2 characters at a time but still in early years so haven't run into a truly punishing challenge yet.